by Teus Kappers
Some years ago my wife Maria and I had a remarkable experience. While walking through Yemen’s ancient capital city of Sanaa we met the city’s sheik. Although we were total strangers to him, on the spur of the moment he invited us to come to his home for lunch.
Maria, being the one with courage, immediately responded to the sheik by saying, “yes, thank you.” As a result of this, for the next few minutes we ended up walking behind our new friend through the narrow city streets to an apartment block which was about five stories high! “
This is my home,” the sheik said. “How many of you live here,” we asked. “Fifty-six,” he answered. This number included all four of the sheik’s wives and children. We were then taken to a special room inside the home where Maria and I sat on cushions and, were provided with some delicious food. The cuisine was served on large plates by a lady whose hand was the only part of her that we saw, as she reached through a door to set down the food. The room we ate in was decorated uniquely with an automatic gun and hand grenades on each wall. Above all of this were Islamic verses from the Koran that were written in beautiful Arabic calligraphy. The purpose of these “decorations” was done to make guests feel safe from anyone who might have bad intentions.
Later on that same day we reflected back on our experience and came to this thought: imagine if, upon arriving in Vancouver, we invited total strangers into our home and supplied them with a meal etc. I think that most of us would not be comfortable doing this. Yet, Scripture tells us to be hospitable to strangers for by doing so some people have unknowingly entertained angels (Heb. 13:2).
My consideration of the sheik’s radical hospitality led me to realize that Lighthouse Harbour Ministries (LHM) actually operates in this very manner. Daily, Lighthouse workers visit ships and invite seafarers to the Mission’s centres where they can come to a “home away from home.” In this way the Mission has provided hospitality to more than four hundred thousand seafarers from over one hundred and twenty different nations over the past three decades. What a privilege!
Hospitality is costly as those who practice it can confirm. LHM has experienced this cost but also the accompanying reward of being able to share the Gospel with many seafarers. However, we have only been able to do the work of the Lord among seafarers because of the past support of many people. We pray that those of you who are reading this will continue to stand with the Ministry or, if you haven’t yet become a regular supporter, consider doing so in order to enable the Mission to continue welcoming seafarers “in Jesus’ Name.”